Queensrÿche: Queensrÿche

Prog-metallers, minus Geoff Tate, make fresh start.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Hell hath no fury like an angry metal frontman scorned. The last men standing in the Seattle line-up have felt the wrath of their erstwhile vocalist (dramatically fired last year amid a maelstrom of titanic band politics) and then some. But after the recent Geoff Tate Queensrÿche incarnation wielded rather less fire than anticipated, a beckoning space for the real deal materialised.

Does this fit the bill? For the most part, yes, and in Todd La Torre they have a highly capable Geoff replacement. Queensrÿche is a statement of brooding, atmospheric intent – muddling pensive progressive sensibilities with strident heavy metal decadence. And while signs of wandering hover nervously over various moody stretches, it’s a classy product; clearly tapping into producer James Barton’s Metallica, Rush etc experience.

X2 piques the appetite, channelling horsemen of the apocalypse vibes, before melancholy serenades shine through tracks like In This Light, while Fallout embraces an optimum blend of catchy-but-not-too-catchy chorus and soaring-meets-crunchy tone – music for the thinking but not too humourless metalhead. It’s not quite up there with majestic hey-day offerings, but there’s loads to reinvigorate the enthusiasm of fans disenchanted by recent ill feelings.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.